Aug 29, 2013
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Judging by how Mecho Wars is put together, Advance Wars should be very flattered.
Mecho Wars is a turn-based strategy game the likes of which you’ve seen before. You can capture factories and buildings so that each turn you can accumulate money and this money can be spent within the previously mentioned factories. Factories build a range of different units and it’s these different units that need to be used wisely to win each mission.
Working in a similar fashion to other strategy games, each unit has a strength and a weakness. Artillery units can shoot down flying units easily, though they’re weak to heavy artillery units. Conversely, heavy artillery are taken out by flying units. Whilst that sounds simple enough, the game’s biggest issue, other than its lack of originality, is its units and the visuals as a whole.
You see, each unit is distinctive. The developers have created a game in Mecho Wars that looks like nothing else. Units are a psychedelic mixture of mechanical and insectoid looking creatures, all very distinct from each other. The problem is that nothings looks like anything you’ve seen before. With Advance Wars, you could look at the screen and with a single glance you’d have sussed out what each unit was. Those guys have bazookas, so they’re heavy artillery. That unit’s got machine guns, that’s a bomber, that’s a tank and so on.
With Mecho Wars, each unit is just some bizarre monster that it’s never clear what they are in terms of unit type. It just makes you do a double-take every time and ends up slowing your game down.
A notable addition to the Advance Wars formula is the way in which the environment can be put to use. As time ticks along during the battle, eventually it’ll reach midnight and the temperature will drop causing the sea to freeze. This will allow your ground units to walk onto the water for a limited time only as the sun will rise once again.
That’s about it in terms of new ideas.
For as interesting as the art style is, it’s more distracting than engaging. For as close to Advance Wars the game is, it’s more of a lazy copy than a genuine homage. Mecho Wars could have built upon the framework set by the classic GBA game but instead it settles for being a ‘me too’ effort with an art style that just doesn’t add to the game.